Are you torn between choosing the budget-friendly iPhone SE or splurging a bit more on the iPhone 11? Let’s dive into the details to help you make an informed decision that aligns with your needs. explores the nuances of these two Apple devices, shedding light on what sets them apart and what unites them in performance and functionality.

Priced at $399, the 2020 iPhone SE stands out as Apple’s most affordable offering. Meanwhile, for $599, you could opt for the iPhone 11, known for its exceptional value in the iPhone lineup. While the SE mirrors the iPhone 8 in design, it houses the robust A13 processor, the powerhouse behind its impressive performance. This processor not only revitalizes the older hardware but also elevates the quality of photos and videos captured by the SE’s cameras, even rivaling those from the iPhone 8.

On the other hand, the iPhone 11 boasts a more contemporary design compared to the SE’s classic aesthetic. Both devices share the same processor, prompting a natural comparison of their photographic capabilities. In a surprising turn of events, the iPhone SE proves to be a strong contender against the 11 in terms of imaging quality, showcasing that superior photography hinges more on the processor than on the camera specs.

Whether you lean towards the sleek design of the iPhone 11 or the budget-friendly appeal of the iPhone SE, understanding how their features align with your preferences is key. Stay tuned as we delve deeper into the intricacies of these devices to help you make an informed choice that resonates with your unique needs.

Enhanced Photography with SmartHDR on iPhone SE and 11

SmartHDR, coupled with the powerful A13 Bionic chip and iOS 13, elevates the camera capabilities of the iPhone SE, surpassing the previous iPhone 8. The iPhone SE boasts a 28mm f1.8 lens for its rear camera, while the iPhone 11 features dual rear cameras: a primary one with a 26mm f1.8 lens and an ultrawide-angle camera with a 13mm f2.4 lens.

Due to the inclusion of an ultrawide-angle camera in the iPhone 11, direct comparisons with the iPhone SE may seem limited. However, let’s delve into some captivating ultrawide photos captured with the iPhone 11.


One stunning shot taken with the ultrawide-angle lens showcases a delightful moment with scallops and friends before the days of social distancing became the norm.


Another image presents the unique perspective an ultrawide-angle lens offers, with skyscraper tops bending elegantly towards the center.

In optimal lighting conditions, images captured by the main rear cameras of both phones exhibit striking similarities. Take a glance at the photos below featuring a tree in the backyard. The nuanced distinctions are subtle, with the SE’s photo offering a slightly tighter frame compared to the one from the 11. However, upon meticulous inspection (even at 100% magnification on a sizable screen), discerning dissimilarities becomes quite challenging.


With virtually identical appearances, the photos, differentiated only by framing, demonstrate the remarkable consistency between the iPhone SE and iPhone 11.

Exploring images of wooden slats further reinforces this cohesion. Beyond framing disparities, the overall resemblance is striking. Upon zooming in, the clarity of details in both images remains commendable, with minimal image noise evident in the shadows of the slats.

Key Points:
SmartHDR technology optimizes image processing across various lighting conditions, enhancing details and textures while maintaining a balanced dynamic range.
The introduction of mixed lighting scenarios subtly highlights distinctions between the iPhone 11 and SE. Notably, the iPhone 11 exhibits enhanced shadow detail and reduced darkness compared to the iPhone SE, showcasing superior dynamic range capabilities.

Portrait Mode Comparison: iPhone SE vs. iPhone 11

When comparing the portrait mode capabilities of the iPhone SE and iPhone 11, both phones deliver exceptional results. The iPhone 11 shines in capturing portrait mode photos of both people and pets, providing versatility for capturing your furry friends. In contrast, the iPhone SE is limited to capturing portraits of people only, which may be a downside for pet enthusiasts.

Examining the portrait mode images captured by these devices, a striking similarity is observed. However, upon closer inspection, the iPhone 11’s portrait mode exhibits enhanced detail, as evidenced by the intricate rendering of John’s hairline. Furthermore, the transition from focused areas to blurred backgrounds appears more seamless in the iPhone 11 photo, attributed to the sophisticated utilization of its dual rear cameras in creating this effect.


Shown above are portrait mode images captured by the iPhone SE (left) and iPhone 11 (right), showcasing the distinct strengths of each device.

Enhanced Photography with iPhone 11’s Deep Fusion Technology

Exploring the photography capabilities of the iPhone 11 in varying light conditions reveals some intriguing insights. Specifically, in medium- and low-light settings, the utilization of Deep Fusion processing sets the iPhone 11 apart by enhancing image quality, capturing intricate details, and reducing noise levels. On the other hand, the iPhone SE lacks this advanced technology.

For a visual comparison, consider these indoor photos of a bike trainer captured under medium lighting. While the iPhone SE’s image exhibits a tighter frame, a noticeable disparity in image quality emerges when compared to the iPhone 11’s photo. The latter boasts enhanced detail, exemplified by the intricacies around the wall outlet.

An interesting observation lies in the image noise present in the shadows of the iPhone SE’s photo, particularly evident in the bottom right corner. In the realm of indoor and medium-light photography, the iPhone 11’s implementation of Deep Fusion processing places it at an advantage, elevating the overall image quality.

Night Mode Comparison: iPhone 11 vs. SE

When comparing the night mode feature between the iPhone 11 and SE, one notable distinction is the presence of night mode exclusively on the iPhone 11. Night mode operates by employing adaptive bracketing, capturing a sequence of images at varying shutter speeds, and merging them into a single enhanced photograph. The outcome is strikingly brighter images with reduced image noise and improved details, elevating the overall image quality.

Whether night mode is a crucial factor in your phone selection depends largely on personal preferences. Let’s delve into the capabilities of this feature.

Visual Comparison

Below, we showcase images captured in challenging low-light conditions. The iPhone 11’s night mode consistently delivers superior results in terms of image quality.

Extreme Low-Light Scenario

An image of a tree in a pitch-dark environment reveals the significant advantages of the iPhone 11’s night mode over the SE.

Low-Light Scene Details

Exploring a moderately dim setting featuring a book, an eye drop bottle, and a computer, we observe the impactful performance of the iPhone 11’s night mode. Notice the sharpness, detail, and color accuracy in the image of the eye drop bottle, as well as the clarity of the text on the book’s spine, distinctly superior in the iPhone 11 photo.

Videos from iPhone SE and iPhone 11: A Comparative Analysis

When it comes to capturing videos, both iPhone SE and iPhone 11 showcase remarkable similarities. They both have the capability to shoot up to 4K 60 fps and feature extended dynamic range, which is essentially like HDR but tailored for video recording. However, there is a slight distinction in this aspect between the two models. The iPhone 11 provides extended dynamic range support for up to 4K 60fps, whereas the iPhone SE supports it up to 4K 30fps.

To better understand these nuances, let’s delve deeper into a comparison of footage captured by both devices. Observing 4K 60fps footage from both phones reveals striking similarities in quality. Nonetheless, upon closer inspection, subtle variations emerge. For instance, in the video recordings, you may notice that the speaker on the shelf displayed more pronounced contrast in the iPhone 11 video compared to the iPhone SE recording. Additionally, the lamp positioned behind me in the iPhone 11 video maintains its detail without overexposure, whereas in the iPhone SE video, there is a slight blowout effect. These disparities can be attributed to the enhanced dynamic range feature of the iPhone 11 at 4K 60fps.

Videos Showcase:

Device Resolution Frame Rate Dynamic Range Support
iPhone SE Up to 4K 30fps Extended Dynamic Range
iPhone 11 Up to 4K 60fps Extended Dynamic Range

If you’re interested in exploring more video samples captured using the iPhone SE, feel free to watch the video provided below.

Enhanced Selfies with iPhone 11

When it comes to capturing moments with your phone’s front-facing camera, the iPhone 11 steps up the game with enhanced details and quality. The comparison between the iPhone 11 and iPhone SE reveals some interesting differences that cater to different preferences.

Video Quality

  • The iPhone 11 boasts a wider front-facing camera that supports 4K and slow-motion videos, providing a more immersive experience.
  • In contrast, the iPhone SE limits video recording to 1080p without the “slofie” feature, impacting the overall video quality.
  • From resolution to audio clarity, videos taken with the iPhone 11 exhibit superior quality compared to those from the iPhone SE.

Portrait Photography

Both phones excel in capturing portrait photos; however, the iPhone 11 stands out with its ability to capture intricate details, such as hair and skin textures, adding depth to your selfies.

Camera Versatility

Following a thorough camera comparison, it’s evident that the iPhone 11 offers a more versatile and advanced camera system. Despite this, the iPhone SE proves to be a reliable contender, capturing remarkable images at a more budget-friendly price point.

Whether you prioritize detailed selfies or seek a cost-effective option without compromising quality, both the iPhone 11 and iPhone SE cater to varying preferences and budget considerations.


  1. What are the main differences between the iPhone SE and iPhone 11?
    The primary distinctions between the iPhone SE and iPhone 11 lie in their design, camera systems, and features such as Night mode and Deep Fusion processing.

  2. How does the A13 Bionic chip enhance the iPhone SE’s performance?
    The A13 Bionic chip breathes new life into the iPhone SE, improving its capabilities and making photos and videos captured with its cameras visually stunning.

  3. Which phone offers a more modern design, the iPhone SE or iPhone 11?
    The iPhone 11 features a more contemporary design compared to the classic design of the iPhone SE.

  4. What is SmartHDR, and how does it impact photo quality on the iPhone SE and iPhone 11?
    SmartHDR, combined with the A13 Bionic chip and iOS 13, elevates the camera hardware of both phones, enhancing the details and textures in photos.

  5. How do portrait mode photos compare between the iPhone SE and iPhone 11?
    Both phones offer portrait mode capabilities, with the iPhone 11 providing more detail and a natural depth effect due to its dual rear cameras.

  6. What is Deep Fusion processing, and how does it affect image quality in medium-light environments?
    The iPhone 11 utilizes Deep Fusion processing to enhance image quality, details, and reduce noise in medium-light conditions, offering superior results compared to the iPhone SE.

  7. What is the significance of Night mode on the iPhone 11?
    Night mode is a feature exclusive to the iPhone 11, improving low-light photography by capturing brighter images with less noise and enhanced details.

  8. How do video capabilities differ between the iPhone SE and iPhone 11?
    Both phones support up to 4K video recording, but the iPhone 11 offers extended dynamic range support at higher frame rates, resulting in superior video quality.

  9. What are the differences in front-facing camera capabilities between the iPhone SE and iPhone 11?
    The iPhone 11’s front-facing camera provides higher resolution and audio clarity, making it ideal for video recording, while the iPhone SE offers limited video features.

  10. Which iPhone model offers a more versatile camera system overall?
    While the iPhone 11 boasts a more versatile camera system with advanced features, the iPhone SE can still capture high-quality images at a more affordable price point.


The comparison between the iPhone SE and iPhone 11 reveals key differences in design, camera performance, and features like Night mode and Deep Fusion processing. While the iPhone 11 presents a more modern design and advanced camera capabilities, the iPhone SE with its A13 Bionic chip delivers impressive photos and videos comparable to its counterpart. Understanding the unique features of each device can help users choose the ideal iPhone that fits their needs and preferences. Explore the full potential of these smartphones and enhance your photography experience with the latest innovations from Apple. Visit our website for more insights and recommendations on mobile technology.